After two years providing property management services in Romania, GRUPO FDP is settled in Bucharest and still growing in this difficult and uncertain moment. Being the first company offering this services in Romania, we had to face an immature market where people were directly categorizing them as estate agencies.
Florenta Barbu, expert on Romanian real estate market, explains that they still have to make buyers/tenants and real estate agencies understand that they are a representation service company and not an intermediary. Daniel Prieto, Managing Partner at GRUPO FDP, gives more information about the company: Our clients are property owners who cannot take care remotely of their properties, mostly foreigners living abroad but also Romanians who invested in real estate and who have not got time.
GRUPO FDP carries out everything needed to manage the properties and companies of its clients, our first step after agreeing with the client is to get the necessary notarized empowerment to be able to act on their behalf in Romania, we can then act as the property owner. When it comes to representing our clients for renting or selling their properties as a letting agency, we tackle the market without any advertising or logo of our company and we always introduce ourselves as the owners. explained Daniel Prieto and he adds: We are very happy to notice that lately, some Romanians are realizing that it might be more interesting to hire our services of a well experienced manager than doing it themselves.
Although Grupo FDP is not among the main real estate related companies, they have acquired a very good image abroad, in the investors' community who have used their services and recommend them to other clients. What is Grupo FDP's secret? “The most important aspect is that we were born as a service company”, explains Daniel, “Many real estate agencies were forced to provide Property Management in Romania to cover the needs of a segment of their clients but, as intermediate service providers, they are product oriented companies and they do not have an adequate after-sales service for their clients”.
The most important aspect for an estate agency, and what should make it a successful company, is to have quality properties at affordable prices. FDP was created to provide the best service in the market at competitive prices. “GRUPO FDP emerged in the market as a property management company from the very beginning and the most important aspect for us is to provide an excellent service, great profits will come later, on a long term-basis”. “Our most important asset is FIDELITY and we are very proud to say that clients that have used our services, not only are repeating but also recommending us to other clients”. This long term vision is providing GRUPO FDP with modest incomes compare to standard real estate agencies earnings during the last few years in Romania but, little by little, we are creating a big portfolio of faithful clients.
For managing our clients' properties in Bucharest and in the main cities in Romania, Daniel Prieto, an experienced business processes’ engineer consultant, has created and standardised all FDP’s procedures and they are now fine tuning their optimization so that FDP offers the best-in-class service as letting agent in Romania. “We could have used the strategy of charging lower fees and getting a higher profit from third party providers’ commissions. This is a very common use here in Romania, but we prefer to be totally transparent with our clients providing them with the confidence that they deserve” says Florentza Barbu, also Managing Partner at GRUPO FDP.
“We are only paid by owners and we make an strong emphasis on never charging commissions but fees to the amounts that we charge to the owners for a very clearly defined service that we provide to them” says Florentza. Romanian Real estate market is in the throes of death, as in many other countries around the world but this tendency will change when banks will restart giving liquidity to the system. Many companies already closed and small and big players are on the tightrope. How long would real estate related companies be able to survive? “We are very confident of our future and success” says Daniel. “This business requires: transparency, dedication, effort, enthusiasm and a lot of organization. Anyone was doing intermediation when the real estate boomed in Romania but, property management in Romania requires skills that are not that easy to find.” “It can be easy just to put in contact a buyer and a seller but when it comes to managing properties, you have to deal with: administrations, furniture providers, developers, utility providers, lawyers, accountants, notaries and also be very well informed about the market. I remember once, being in Brasov, and explaining to a Romanian landlord about our business, she was replying: huauh, what a great idea you had… it is a very easy work and real estate gives a lot of money!!" “Romanian Real estate market was poisoned and I’m sure that this crisis “will clean it up”. Of course we are suffering more difficult moments and we have to work double to get the same results or even less but, in a long term I’m sure this crisis will be good for Romania. Other thing will be if we were speaking about Spain, Daniel’s country of origin, but this is another matter. Romanian Estate market still needs to be develops and there is a huge market for related companies…”